Written by Jonathan Mahon-Heap
Unity is a non-profit which works in partnership with the Rainforest Foundation.
With morning news alerts reading like the opening crawl of a disaster film, 2020 has justifiably sent most of us off-the-grid — all the while, the Amazon’s rainforest ecosystem have teetered on the brink of destruction, and half the planet’s rainforests have been wiped out. Following the success of recent print fundraisers for social justice causes, such as the Anti-Racism Photo Fundraiser, and other landmark print sales for the Black Lives Matter movement, the Rainforest Foundation has launched its own photo fundraiser, UNITY; bringing together artists to raise funds for the protection of the Amazon Rainforest, its indigenous communities, and the organisations who serve the land.
With all proceeds going directly to the Rainforest Foundation, ‘Their Lands, Everyone’s Future’ features posters and prints (priced at £50 and £150 respectively) by Andreas Gursky, Paul Mpagi Sepuya, Rafael Pavarotti, Wolfgang Tillmans, and Pieter Hugo, among 50 others. Studying the artworks together, small trends emerge; bodies dwarfed by landscapes, the tenuous reach of hands and branches in harsh surrounds, the urge to echo our natural world amid a crowded cityscape. Art as a platform for social justice drives awareness is nothing new, but the recent trend of world-class artists giving up their work for a cause (at a time, no less, when galleries face an existential crisis of their own) is endearing.
UNITY puts it best themselves, in saying: “We believe in the power of artists to initiate critical conversations on climate and the health of our world, which cannot breathe without trees and forests.” The proceeds of this sale will help tackle deforestation, aid forest communities in gaining land rights, support them in challenging logging companies, and assist them in managing their forests, and protecting their environment.
Still Life (Bühnenbild) by Wolfgang Tillmans.